On the outset, I think promotion in the RSIPF as in any organisation is done on the basis of the availability of vacate positions. Hence, EOI (expression of interest) is the process which is facilitated and managed by the Human Resource department and officers are encouraged to apply depending on their experience and qualifications.
Therefore, views shared by Jackie Mana regarding the Commissioner’s non response to comments made on the topic are irrelevant.
Precisely, promotion is necessary as established positions are vacated and needed to be filled.
And I could recall previously that Non Commissioned officers are being promoted without having to face an interview panel and is done through the process of a monthly appraisal system where years of experience and performance based assessment was an important consideration among other factors.
In the case of senior levels as mentioned earlier, EOI process is also done to determine applicants meet the requirement for the post they’re applying for and that applicants are assessed and shortlisted based on merit.
Therefore, the successful candidate is considered to be the best among other shortlisted applicants after being interviewed by a panel.
It is a fact though that sometimes applicants have difference in terms of their experience but that factor alone cannot be used to deny others the opportunity to express their interest for the vacate position.
As stated earlier, this system (EOI process) encourages potential officers to prove themselves during an interview by answering questions from panelist designed to see the applicants capability if he/she gets the job.
However, the important consideration is always on years of service, work experience, qualifications and gender balance/equality.
These requirements are very important to determine a fair and justified selection of candidates for the post.
I can’t remember if ethnicity is part of the criteria outlined in most of the EOI documents especially when considering senior level and Executive positions.
I think ethnicity can be considered when shortlisting candidates for the interview but the post/job are awarded to the candidate that scores high during the interview.
Besides, if the author thinks ethnicity is an important factor then I think he should consider arguing a fair representation in our national football team where it is predominantly players from the same province and what have we achieved in terms of qualifying for the world cup?
Having said that, I concur with the promotion of the ACP Crime as I believe it was done on a reasonable, fair and merit based assessment.
The author is presumably unaware of the procedures and the process by which applicants are shortlisted and accuses Mr Varley ignorantly.
I understand the Commissioner of Police has the prerogative to determine promotions of police constables to sergeant and senior sergeants as promotions of Commissioned Officers (inspectorates and above) are endorsed by the PPSC and PSC.
Hence, I would stress that the importance of considering ethnicity as shared by the author is irrelevant as I could recall previous RSIPF Executives during the late 1990’s and early 2000are predominantly from the same province and everybody seems to be happy about it at the time.
Mr Mana should understand that senior positions are carefully considered and awarded to candidates who are perceived to be the most suitable one and merit is the benchmark.
In fact, I don’t think you can negotiate merit because merit is achievements attained by the candidate and ethnicity is out of the equation.
Finally, I wish to conclude by enlightening Mr Mana in answering some of his questions as follows;
The argument of fair representation of other provinces in para 7 of his letter is an error of thought on the basis that selection criteria is based on requirements outlined in the EOI document not on ethnicity and cultural advantage.
Hence, cultural values is opposed to values and standard practises of recruitment of trained and qualified human resources in any organisation. Therefore, to base your argument on ethnicity is overwhelmingly irrelevant.
As in para 8 the authors’ argument is that the post should have been awarded to an experienced officer, which is also irrelevant on the grounds that applicants are shortlisted based on experience and relevant qualifications among other key criteria.
Therefore, I believe the current ACP Crime has earned his promotion on merit and if I may add that I knew him as a colleague investigator.
And as a team member I knew he has the potential to reach the top bracket considering his outstanding policing knowledge and investigation work.
His thoughtful and well planned investigation leaves no stone unturned and produce exceptional results.
In terms of his academic achievements, he has attended workshops and in-service trainings locally and abroad.
He has successfully completed his leadership programs and other police management programs and served as Director in three important police departments (Community Policing, PSII & NCID) over a period of eight years.
During his 23 year service he spent major part of his policing career on investigation which I believe the responsible Authority has no hesitation in awarding him the position.
Despite other interviewees’ seniority in the organisation, the ACP Crime is unarguably the suitable candidate for the new portfolio considering his current studies in Public Administration & Management, Sociology and policing studies.
As a close friend and colleague he once shared his intention of improving investigations of corrupt practises in the Government Treasury division where I believe the ‘Janus’ Task Force is being established.
However, I would regard initiation of Janus Task Force as an achievement from a person who thinks outside of the box which made me to support the newly promoted ACP Crime.
As such, position of leadership in the field of investigation attracts persons with intelligence and updated knowledge in the relevant field of study.
I think the RSIPF need leaders who can strategize to tackle the growing trend of criminality and I have no doubt that a person of the ACP Crime calibre is the right choice.
So, Mana’s reference to the ACP as inexperience holds no water as the RSIPF transition into the 21st century policing where smart offenders in the future will resort to conceal evidence on clouds instead of computer hard drives.
That ideology will require a person with upgraded knowledge.
I mean how could you retrieve important piece of evidence when it is stored up in the cloud; hence having a smart leader in the crime portfolio is imperative to ensure that high profile cases are handled professionally with highly trained manpower that can produce the expected outcomes.
I trust the ACP is capable to contain the situation in the future given his exposure to high level learning he is currently undertaking at the USP/Centre.
I firmly believe the composition of the current RSIPF Executive is ethical and the right one considering their wealth of experience and a smart Commissioner.
Essentially, other issues raised by the author in terms of the transparency of the process and whether standard procedures are followed is like a kinder garden child questioning a tertiary student and the rest is history..
With that said, I applaud Mr Mana for expressing his concerns as a law abiding citizen of this country.
By ALEC LEUBWA